How do I apply?

You must register an account in order to apply and submit an idea.

To submit an idea once registered, click on ‘APPLY’ at the top left of the platform page. This will take you to the Application Form of the selected challenge. Complete the requested fields, ensuring your project idea meets the specific criteria then click ‘SUBMIT’, or ‘SUBMIT AND CREATE ANOTHER’ if you have another idea that you would like to submit. You can click ‘SAVE DRAFT’ to complete and submit your idea at a later date. Please note that attached files are not saved, so you will need to add your attachments before submitting your idea.

You can access draft applications by visiting ‘MY AREA’ which you will find at the top right of the platform page. Click ‘EDIT’, complete the Application Form and submit it as detailed above.

Once submitted, your application will be redirected to the TRANSFORM team for an initial screening to check its suitability for review and whether it contains any obscenities.

Please check the Application Guidelines here for more detail on the information required to submit your application.

What are the stages of the application process?

There are five stages:

  1. Application Creation;
  2. Application Submission and Criteria Screening;
  3. Application Review and Full Proposal Submission;
  4. Full Proposal Review;
  5. Final Evaluation.

An idea will change status depending on its progress through the stages, as described in the ‘ABOUT TRANSFORM’ page.


This is where Applicants compile and submit their initial ideas to TRANSFORM and potentially revise their ideas based on input from the community. The Applicant must decide whether they want to make their idea Public or Private.

  • Public – The idea has been submitted and will go through a SUITABILITY CHECKIdeas deemed suitable will enter the DEVELOP IN COLLABORATION status where members of the community can comment upon and like each other’s ideas. Public ideas will benefit from input from the TRANSFORM community to develop and improve their applications, and gain initial exposure that could help the idea later on. Authors can edit their ideas throughout this status to incorporate suggestions from the community.
  • Private – The idea has been submitted and will go through a SUITABILITY CHECK. It will remain invisible to the community and only be available to the Author and the TRANSFORM team.


Once the Application Form is finalised and, in the case of Public ideas, developed in collaboration with the community, the Application is submitted to TRANSFORM to assess whether it meets TRANSFORM’s criteria. If the application fully responds to all of the criteria, it progresses to the First Review. If not, the author can then be asked to revised the application if to provide more information to the TRANSFORM team or, if the application doesn't meet the set criteria, be unsuccessful.


Once the idea has met basic criteria, it is reviewed in more depth by experts to assess whether it aligns with TRANSFORM's aims. It is reviewed in depth both internally (Application Review) and by the team (Application Review – Management Team) that will select organisations that have met the previous review's criteria. Successful application is then progressed to a Full Proposal stage for detailed submission.Once approved by internal reviewers, further detail on the proposal is requested. This means that the Authors will be required to provide further details on their ideas and how they contribute to TRANSFORM’s aims.


The full proposal will be reviewed by a committee of reviewers on the Full Review Stage, who will select the ideas that go on to the next status of the selection process based on the relevant criteria. Once successful, the idea has been selected to proceed to the final stage of the selection process (Final Review). However, the idea will be reviewed by a committee of external reviewers (Final Review – External) before moving on to the final stage.


The idea is now being evaluated by the final round of TRANSFORM governance, which is comprised of senior representatives of the programme and that will decide which ideas have been Approved to receive funding and support from TRANSFORM and which have not.

How long does an idea remain in the DEVELOP IN COLLABORATION status?

Ideas remain in collaboration until the end of the APPLICATION CREATION stage. The idea will be either submitted by the Author or automatically submitted once the deadline has passed, and will enter CRITERIA SCREENING. At this point, the idea will no longer be publicly available to the community.

How can I complete my idea in the FULL PROPOSAL SUBMISSION stage?

When your idea reaches FULL PROPOSAL SUBMISSION, you will be notified and will receive an email containing instructions on how to complete your proposal. The next step is to edit your idea, complete ALL fields for your idea type (Business or Research) and re-submit your application. For detailed information on the requested fields for the full submission, please download more instructions here.

How can I find ideas by tags?

To search for an idea by its tag (keyword), simply type the ‘#’ symbol, followed by the tag in question in the top search bar of the TRANSFORM platform.

Are ideas, comments and likes anonymous?

Public ideas are not anonymous whereas Private ideas remain anonymous to all Participants, and only the Author and the TRANSFORM team can view them. Comments made on public ideas are not anonymous as the Participant’s profile name is visible. Likes on public ideas are anonymous

Can I change my idea?

The Applicant may make changes to their application at varied stages of the process. Whenever this option is available, an ‘Edit’ option will be available on the idea detail page. Only an idea’s content can be edited. Comments and likes will not be affected when you edit an idea.

Can I delete ideas?

No, this is not possible. If you want to delete an idea, Applicants should contact the TRANSFORM team via the contact information on the ‘CONTACT US’ page of the ’i' menu, which is on the top bar next to your profile photo.


How can I receive TRANSFORM's funding and support for my project?

Only ideas that fulfil all the requirements and move through all evaluation stages will have access to funding and support

What funding and support is available for approved projects?

Applicants of approved projects will receive funding of up to £300,000, released according to key milestones. The projects can last up to 24 months. The projects must be in line with the defined criteria, and create impact in the agreed geographies. Approved projects will also receive technical assistance from a dedicated Project Lead and access to opportunities to collaborate with other teams in Unilever depending on the project.

If my idea is selected, how will the funding and support be delivered?

TRANSFORM will assign a dedicated Project Lead to support with the creation and validation of milestones required to release funding. This dedicated Project Lead will also coordinate technical assistance and opportunities to collaborate with other teams in Unilever, and act as TRANSFORM’s main point of contact throughout the partnership.

Is the funding and support available all at once or in instalments?

The funding and support is released according to key milestones so it is delivered in instalments. These milestones will be developed by the organisation and TRANSFORM Project Lead. Each phase of funding will only be released once the Project Lead confirms the relevant milestone has been met.

How can I receive the full amount available?

TRANSFORM offers grants of up to £300,000. The amount awarded to projects depends on information provided in the Application process. Funding proposals should be for a defined project scope and/or clear capacity-building requirements. Funding requirements should be clearly budgeted, as per the Application instructions.

What support is available?

The support provided consists of technical assistance provided by a dedicated Project Lead and other resources, as appropriate. The main capabilities available include project management by the Project Lead, marketing, customer development, research and development, supply chain management and distribution as well as specialist expertise e.g. behaviour change. Specific project needs will be assessed and technical assistance matched accordingly.

When will the funding and support be available for approved projects?

Funding and support will be available to approved projects once legal contracts have been signed, and key milestones set.

Do I need to trade any equity in return for the funding and support received?

No, the organisation does not need to trade any equity in return for the funding and support received.

If I do not have a registered company yet, will I be eligible to receive funding and support from TRANSFORM?

You may submit an application before your company is registered. However, if approved to receive TRANSFORM funding and support you will need to register and incorporate your organisation prior to receiving funding. You will also require a dedicated company/organisational bank account. We cannot disburse funds to personal bank accounts.

Is my company eligible to receive funding and support even if we are not registered in the regions of impact and have other projects in different regions?

Your organisation can be registered anywhere in the world (except Russia) but should create impact in the listed priority countries. Please find a list of eligible countries in the Application Form. If approved, all organisations will be subject to a due diligence screening process prior to release of funds. All funding decisions and disbursement of funds will be conditional.

What is the due diligence process that my organisation will be expected to go through to receive funding and support?

TRANSFORM requires company information from organisations as part of its due diligence process to ensure TRANSFORM funds and support is only used in its intended capacity, and does not support criminal or terrorism related activities. TRANSFORM requires all partner organisations to provide scans of the original documents below:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Governing documents
  • Proof of company bank account
  • Three years of financial accounts – Audited or unaudited
  • For organisations established within the past three years, we ask for the financial accounts spanning the years of the organisation’s operation
  • The latest management accounts
  • Governance arrangements including details of Directors
  • Information on processes to counter internal security threats  Additional checks are then undertaken to review the information provided to complete the assessment of the suitability of the organisation to receive TRANSFORM funding and support.

What happens if our application is unsuccessful?

Unfortunately we are unable to provide individual feedback for applications. We encourage you to apply to future TRANSFORM challenges and to continue your participation in the TRANSFORM community.


How can I collaborate on other users’ ideas?

You can collaborate in two ways:
     1) Liking ideas
     2) Commenting on ideas and leaving questions and/or suggestions for improvements.

Click on the ‘COLLABORATE’ button at the top right side of the platform to view all public ideas that are currently available for collaboration from all available challenges. 

Ideas are available for collaboration until the end of the APPLICATION CREATION stage. Private ideas will not be available to the community to view or collaborate on.


How do I like an idea?

You can like an idea by entering the idea detail page and on top of being able to read all the details of the application and its comments you can like it and view the number of likes the idea already has. Please bear in mind that you are not able to like your own ideas.

Can I cancel my like?

Yes, it is possible to cancel your like by clicking on the ‘LIKE’ button again.


How do I comment on an idea?

All ideas have an associated Comments Section within the idea detail page in the Comments section. This feature allows Participants to publish their comments on a specific idea while it is in DEVELOP IN COLLABORATION status.

How do I find, edit or delete my comments?

To find your comments, you must first access the ‘MY AREA’ menu and then go to ‘ACTIVITY’. In the filter option, choose the action type ‘COMMENTS’ and you will find them listed below. It is not possible to edit comments, but it is possible to delete it if there is no activity related (i.e. there are no replies or likes). You cannot delete other Participants’ comments

Can I report an abusive comment?

Yes. Please click in the ‘OPTIONS’ menu in the comment box and select ‘REPORT’. A message will be sent to the TRANSFORM team, who will consider taking action.


Who will review the ideas at the APPLICATION REVIEW, FULL REVIEW and FINAL EVALUATION?

The ideas will be reviewed by a committee of reviewers, who will select the ideas that go on to the next stage of the selection process. The committee of reviewers will have relevant expertise, and will include representatives from TRANSFORM partners and independent experts. 

What are the evaluation criteria for reviews?

The applications will be reviewed against the following criteria:

Business projects:

  • Does the innovation meet the needs of low-income households?
  • Does the innovation generate impact in one of FCDO’s priority countries?
  • Can the innovation be financially sustainable?
  • What is the scale of impact this business could have?
  • Is the idea innovative or unique?
  • Has the innovation got sufficient governance, financial and Intellectual Property assurances in place?
  • Can any of TRANSFORM’s partners add value to the idea?
  • Are there synergies with other projects in the portfolio?

Research projects:

  • Does the research address a knowledge gap?
  • Could outputs from the research meet the needs of low-income households?
  • Does the research related to one of FCDO’s priority countries?
  • Can the research support an innovation to become financially sustainable?
  • Can any of TRANSFORM’s partners add value to the research?
  • Are there synergies with other projects in the portfolio?

How many ideas will be selected at each stage?

There is no limit to the number of ideas selected at each stage, and all valid and worthy ideas will be considered. However, the final number of approved projects will depend on funding available.

Will I get feedback on my idea?

No. TRANSFORM will not release feedback to Applicants. The only feedback will be those public comments made by other members of the community, or when specific revisions for your application are requested by TRANSFORM.


How can I subscribe to receive platform notifications?

The TRANSFORM platform sends out a range of activity related notifications. You can select the notifications you wish to receive by clicking on your profile picture at the upper right hand corner of the platform, and then selecting ‘EDIT PROFILE’. Scroll to the bottom, and select the boxes for the notifications you wish to receive.

Which notifications can I receive and what is their purpose?

  • TRANSFORM - New idea for collaboration – Sent to all subscribers when an idea enters the DEVELOP IN COLLABORATION status and becomes available for comments and likes.
  • TRANSFORM - Your idea status changed – Sent to all subscribers when the Author’s idea moves forward along the workflow (by changing its status).
  • TRANSFORM - New comment on your idea – Sent to the Author when a new comment is posted on their idea. There are also notifications related to user Registration and Password Recovery.


If you have any questions or issues, please report them to the TRANSFORM team by contacting TRANSFORM through the platform. You will find the ‘CONTACT US’ link at the top right hand side of the platform page, under the ‘i’ icon.

For more frequently asked questions, please click here.